China Offers U.S. Firms Opportunities, Must Protect Copyright

China's booming market offers opportunities for U.S. manufacturers but Beijing must crack down on copyright violations, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas said Sept. 14. "What's the barrier? The barrier is intellectual property rights violations," said Aldonas. "Even for a company in an area like textiles, there's a market here, but we've got to handle the barriers. At the end of the day, that's why the enforcement stuff is so important . . . for so many American manufacturers, solving problems like intellectual property actually help in terms of resolving the market access issues." U.S. firms hurt by copyright violations were not only losing out in the Chinese market, but globally, Aldonas said. Chinese officials were aware of the need for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, Aldonas said, but added enforcement was the key. "The Chinese leadership is utterly sincere in terms of their approach on IPR because they know it's in their interests, the interests of Chinese companies who are being injured by IPR violations," the U.S. official said. The United States, however, wants to see results. "While there's substantial amount of progress and absolute sincerity on their part . . . we really have to see that the sales of legitimate goods are going up and the sales of pirated goods are going down," he concluded.

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